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Steer clear of Deltas flooded islands during duck season
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Duck season opens this weekend, and this is the time of year where anglers have to be extra careful when venturing into the many flooded islands found throughout the Delta. I’ve learned over the years that it’s easier to just leave certain areas to the hunters.

For the most part, the bigger fish are going to be caught closer to deep water anyways. This sort of approach during the hunting season has actually helped alleviate some stress, and I no longer have to fish while looking over my shoulder or worrying if a hunter is shooting high enough in the air.

Most of the blinds are visible from a distance, and if you accidentally get too close to one the hunter he or she will surely let you know — sometimes in a not-so-friendly manner.

Over the years, I’ve learned where certain blinds are located and which areas to stay out of. It’s a good idea, especially on the Delta, to stay out of the many flooded islands until the end of duck season.

Delta Report
The bite on the Delta continues to be tough. A lot of anglers are reporting catching bass while fishing the outside weed edges.

Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing the 6-8-foot range. Striper fishing continues to improve — early morning and the evening hours seem to be the most productive times.

Anglers are doing well while fishing around Big Break, Mildred Island and Franks Tract with top-water lures and large rattle baits. Duck hunting season is open so be on the look out for duck blinds.

New Melones Lake
Trout fishing is picking up as the water temperatures continue to drop. Anglers fishing for bass are picking up a few trout in the backs of coves which is usually a sign that they are moving shallow and are actively feeding.

Bass fishing continues to be very good for numbers of fish caught on shad imitating lures and plastics. Anglers are also catching fish while spooning through schools of shad.

Lake Pardee
Lake Pardee is currently scheduled to close at the end of the month so if you’re looking to get out one more time on Lake Pardee you have till sunset on Sunday before it closes until February.

Recently, trout fishing has been slow for trollers. Those catching fish are catching them while trolling down to 50 feet in the early morning hours.

Lake Don Pedro
Fishing is tough for all species on the lake. Anglers fishing for trout and salmon are reporting spotty action at best while fishing as deep as 100 feet.

Bass fishermen are struggling to catch limits of keeper fish right now. Just like most lakes this time of year, look for bait to be schooled up in the backs of coves or off main lake points.

Lake Tulloch
There is an excellent surface bite for Rainbow Trout to 4 pounds. Water clarity is good and the presentation should be placed from 75 to 100 feet behind the boat.  

Apex’s, Uncle Larry’s and Vance’s Slim Fins are the lures to try in the river channel and into the Green Springs arm.

Carl and Jerry’s Fishing and Hunting Show
This week Carl and Jerry will be going after Lake Amador cut-bow trout. The show will be airing on Comcast Sports Net California at 10:30 on Saturday morning.

Tip of the Week
As our weather has begun to change, this is the time of year when anglers are the least prepared for the worst.

Our days are a lot shorter and temperature swings can happen without much warning. If you’re planning on being out on a boat all day you should have an extra set clothing and something to snack on just incase you have engine failure or come across someone stranded on the water.

Having a good map is also a must, as I have been stopped by more than one boater who was lost on the delta.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail